Hmong New Year

By: Ayamei Her

Hmong New Year is all about celebrating the culture and showcasing Hmong dance groups, fashion shows, cultural food and so much more. People sometimes ask why Hmong New Year happens at the time of year that it is celebrated, the reason for that is because Hmong New Year is celebrated during the time of the end of a harvest and it’s celebrated to honor our ancestors and spirits. Every year the River Centre is packed with people who are dressed up and are there to celebrate the culture. 

At Hmong New Year, there are tons of activities for people to do and the most popular activity is called “Pov Pob” which translates to “throw the ball”. This game was originally meant for women to find a husband. During this, you throw the ball to a boy you like in hopes he tosses it back, but it can now be played with your significant other or your friends and family. 

Also during this celebration, a singing and dancing competition is held. Each of these are based on traditional backgrounds, for example, the dancing is a traditional style of dancing which normally is showcased by all girl groups, and during the singing competition, every contestant (usually) sings an older Hmong song or a popular Hmong song. 

Now, for most people’s favorite part: the food. Every year the variety of food is different but some staples that show up every year are sticky rice, spicy papaya (which is a spicy salad) and egg rolls. Each of these are usually made by the community elders, or Hmong caterers, and everyone appreciates a good break for the food during the celebration. 

Hmong New Year is a great time to celebrate and give thanks to our ancestors and show off our cultural clothing. There are many activities to do during this celebration. 

How optimism can influence a person

By: Addison Strack

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Having an optimistic outlook can improve many aspects of your life, such as your mood, but did you know that having a more positive outlook can also directly affect your physical health?

Being so negative all the time can affect your mental health, by causing higher stress levels, anxiety, depression, and more. Many people struggle with having a negative attitude because of external factors such as stress from school, your job, relationships and more.

Being more optimistic can help to build resilience in a person, and cause them to try multiple times instead of just giving up. This can help them to achieve their goals quicker and become more successful, because they won’t let small setbacks stop them.

People with more optimism also have more self confidence, because they are more in control of situations and problems that they face. It also helps people to be more flexible and understanding, because they are able to see the bright side of things.

Overall, having optimism can greatly improve your mental health, and reduce stress and negative thoughts and attitude.

A lack of optimism can also affect your body physically. Being constantly stressed, and in a negative mindset can raise your blood pressure, increasing the risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Having an optimistic outlook can improve your cardiovascular health by lowering your blood pressure. It can also strengthen your immune system, reduce the risk of death from cancer, and help people to recover from surgeries quicker. Overall, it can lead to a longer life span.

It is unknown why people with more optimism have these health benefits. One theory is that being optimistic can help your body cope with stress better, which reduces the physical effects of stress on the body.

Some ways that you can increase the amount of optimism in your life are to focus on positive thinking. Try to avoid perfectionism, and avoid making a big deal out of minor problems as well. Instead of focusing on the negative, try your best to identify the positives.

If you would like to read more about the effects of optimism, feel free to check out the website below,

The scam of intermittent fasting for women

By: Irene Cohen

Intermittent fasting is the diet that revolves around controlling and restricting the times in which you eat, and the times that you fast. For example, the three most popular types of this are the 16/8 method, eat-stop-eat, and the 5:2 diet. The 16/8 method is when you fast for 16 hours, and eat for 8 hours. This eating window is usually from 12pm-8pm, with no food for the hours outside of that. The eat-stop-eat method is one of the strictest plans, which comprises of eating regularly 5 days a week, and for 2 days spaced out in the week, you don’t eat for 24-hours. The 5:2 diet is similar, but those 2 days, instead of fasting completely, you just restrict your calories for those 2 days from 500-600.

There is no doubt that women receive more societal pressure to be thin than men. That is not to say there isn’t pressures for men as well, just that women from a young age are forced to think about their weight. Women are more likely to diet and develop disordered eating habits from a young age, while also feeling dissatisfaction with their body and the desire to be thin, according to the National Library of Medicine. Most popular diets are dominated by women, so one would think that they benefit them, or at least fulfill their purpose of losing weight. However, this isn’t the case.

Intermittent fasting may benefit men, with their testosterone levels increasing, and their metabolism may even get a boost. This is more or less because in older, hunter-gatherer societies, a lack of food for men was associated with the need to go out and hunt, which to do so, you need more energy to burn. The response for women is much different.

Female bodies are much more susceptible to “starvation mode” than male bodies. When female bodies perceive that they are in a food scarcity, their responses are also hypothesized to come from the hunter-gatherer era. Contrasting to men, female bodies shut down all non-essential functions to preserve energy for their body to survive. This means metabolism slowing down, losing less fat stores, and shutting down reproductive functions, such as periods. This is almost the total opposite of the results of men.

Even short windows of fasting are enough to mess with hormone levels in the female body. Periods will slow, and eventually stop altogether, affecting a female’s fertility. This change in hormone levels affect many other bodily functions as well. Estrogen controls many things other than the menstrual cycle and ovaries. It is in your bones, and GI tract as well. Female bodies in starvation mode are more likely to develop osteoporosis, a weakening of the bones.

Like most things in the medical field, the male-body is studied more than the female body, so data and studies are lacking on the female body. The results of the studies on male bodies are not simply transferrable to the female body. These fad diets are many times not built for women, and most nutritionists recommend to sticking to nutritional food and doing what feels good for your body.

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